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Thread: new here - and some questions

  1. Back To Top    #1

    new here - and some questions

    I have been reading another forum all day, to find my answers, and you could not register at that one! ;(
    So someone posted a link to this one - I am glad

    Anyway - I have an above ground 20x30 4ft pool.
    We have had it about 6 years with NO problems.
    But, last year, my hubby had back surgery, and offwork for a year, and tons of problems, so, we did not even open the pool last year.
    This year, I decided to open it - (we had never bought a cover ;() and some bright person told me, no, don't drain it and clean it - just throw a bunch of the shock it in it - and vacuum and it will be fine (I will never listen to that person's advice on a pool again!)

    Needless to say, it is Sept 1, and I am still bound and determined to get the pool open for the kids to swim a LITTLE before closing it again - and have it ready for next year!

    I went to the pool place too, and was just going to buy a new pump and filter ($400) and they told me no, I did not need that with my pools age. so I had to buy a few new tubes (2 @ $70 eac), and a pump basket ($70). Then I put in like 10 bags of the shock it - and started vacuuming on backwash.

    Well, that has been going on the last couple months! I do NOT think my vacuum is picking up well at all (ideas for that - besides just getting new - or changing ALL that sand out? and which is easier if I do one or the other?) or do you think it is my vacuum? (I just got a cheap head vacuum from walmart with a long hose)

    So now, the last 2-3 weeks, it has been COMPLETELY BLUE, but with some like white little *floaty* type stuff in it. Which from years ago - I would throw on the vacuum and it would pull it right up! So I have been going out each day - with my stick that has the net thing on the end - and scooping up all the stuff, as much as I can - ALL the way around the pool, until that floaty stuff has made the pool blurry again - and then I do the same thing the next day.

    The thing is - it seems like this floaty stuff is NOT going away - or multiplying over night? I don't know.

    I did not think it was algae, as it is NOT green at all - the pool looks PERFECT after it sits overnight, with just that stuff at the bottom of the pool.

    ideas????

    Also - I saw where many said to buy regular bleach from the store - sounds great to me! but I was not sure how to figure out how much to get - from what other posts said....for my pool....I think they told me my pool is like 25,000? but not sure - it is 20x30 and 4' deep.

    Also - some people posted in a test kit - numbers, my test kit (which I used for the last 6 years working great - but of course never had problems before either) anyway - just has the little color blocks on it?

    Thanks for anything - to help let my kids swim this year! lol
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  2. Back To Top    #2
    saraiks's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum..
    I can assure you from my own experience that you have come to the right place fo help. There are lot of experts here. But to help you we all need some more info. Here is what you need to do...

    1. Take a sample of your pool water to a pool store and get it analyzed. Post the results here. We need at least the following

    FC (free Chlorine), CC(Combined Chlorine), CYA(AKA stabilizer), TA(Total Alkalinity), CH(Calcium Hardness), pH and water temperature.

    the more you can provide the better it is.

    2. Give us more details on the test kit you have. We might be able to figure out how to use it..

    3. Your pool 20 X 30 X 4 oval is approx 15,400 Gallons.

    4. Does your sand filter have a pressure gauge on it ? ?If yes what is the reading on it ?

    5. Does the vaccum head do a better job after the filter has been backwashed ?

    6. If you have any idea of what all chemicals you have thrown into the pool so far do let us know.


    I suspect you have elevated CYA and CH numbers due to excessive shock use and might be fighting some sort of Algae too. Your filter also seems to be overwhelmed by all the junk in your pool.


    The one BIG ticket item you need is called POP (pool owners patience) but unfortunately you can't buy that one.. specially not at a pool store..
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3
    POP - lol - yeah - I need it that is for sure! considering it is Sept 2 - officially - and I PROMISED my kids I would get it ready for them this year! lol

    1 - ok - will do that tomorrow (they will do that for you - even if you are not buying? I assume - I guess they don't have to *know* I won't be buying lol)

    2 - it is a cheapo from walmart - I had one with the drops and I could not find it this year, so I just grabbed that
    little test strips thing (I know - I have read you guys hate these! sorry! )

    3 - Thank you - it may be 5' - I don't know - I will measure the height tomorrow - I thought the pool people told us like 25k - I know for sure it is 20x30 lol

    4 - I don't think so - but I will look at it in the am

    5 - Not really been doing that too - that is one thing I did know to do - was backwash often before putting chemicals in

    6 - all walmart stuff - a few months ago started with the BLUE schock stuff and the Algae (the one for all kinds like $20 for a small bottle), and then the BLUE shock it stuff - was putting in 3 bags a day for the last several weeks, I would get in and scoop up as much from the bottom as I could, then the 3 bags. Then 2 days ago, I got the clarifier in the last couple days thinking that would go faster, but vaccum still did not work for it really - seemed to stir it up more - so I scooped it instead.
    then I keep of those 3" tabs from walmart - 1 stabilizer and 1 chlorine in it at all times.

    Thank you very much!
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Getting a good test kit is the best investment in your pool you can make. I recommend the TF Test Kit, see the link in my signature. But any test numbers from any source will help up figure out what is going on, just tell us where you got the numbers (pool store, test strips, etc).

    Regular household bleach is a wonderful source of chlorine. Just make sure that it is unscented (sometimes called original scent). Bleach comes in various percentages, higher percentages are more effective. You can us my Pool Calculator, see the link in my signature, to figure out both the size of your pool and how much bleach you need to get to any given free chlorine level.

    I strongly suspect that you don't want any more stabilizer in the pool. The chlorine tabs contain stabilizer. Stabilizer can build up as it hardly ever goes away, and the higher the stabilizer level the more chlorine you need to keep algae away.

    Now would be a great time to do some reading. Check out The Stickies section of this site, see the link in the sub-heading of any page at this site. There is all kinds of great information there.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5
    saraiks's Avatar
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    1. Yes, most pool stores will test your basic water chemistry for free.

    2. Please post what results you get from your test strips.

    3. If its 5' then the volume is 19000 Gallons.

    4. ...

    5. Backwashing is good specially in your situation. How do you replenish the water that is lost due to backwashing ?

    6. All those chemicals are the reason your water is the way it is...

    Heed Jason's words he is one of THE Expert''s around here.

    Good things

    A. You may not have to add too much stuff to the water as I suspect there is a lot of it in there already..
    B. You have a walmart nearby and they stock pretty much everything that you will need.
    C. You still might be able to swim this season!

    Bad things

    D. you may have to do a partial drain and refill.

    So hurry up and get to us the results from the pool store tests..
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Thank you SO much to everyone!

    ok - measured - my pool is exactly 4ft from the bottom of the ground to the top rail. (so unless there is 12" in the ground, which I do NOT think) I have a 20x30x4

    I checked my sand filter - yes it has a gauge - and it is HIGH, it is at like 70, the little hand is all the way around the dial it shows.

    Good 'ol little town, the pool place is closed on Sunday - so I will have to get those readings tomorrow - but I DID do it again today with the test strips (Aqua Chem 6 way test strips) I have - that shows:

    TOTAL HARDNESS - 250 ok,high
    TOTAL CHLORINE - 0 - very low
    FREE CHLORINE - 0 - very low
    BROMINE - 0 - very low
    PH - 6.8 - low
    TOTAL ALKALINITY - 0 - very low
    STABILIZER - 0 - very low

    It is hard to beleive that the chlorine and stabilizer would be low, as I have put those 3 bags of blue shock stuff every day, except yesterday was the 1st day I did not put anything in the pool

    Backwashing - I replace water by the hose from my back yard that is attached to the house.

    I went to walmart and bought 3 gallon size jugs of bleach that says 6% plus a box of that borax stuff.
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  7. Back To Top    #7
    saraiks's Avatar
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    Laurie,

    the numbers and your problem don't match. I would rather wait for a pool store water check before doing anything.

    Question:

    Does the gauge on the filter go down to 0 if you shut down the pump ?
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Could you read the label of "the BLUE shock it stuff" and tell us what it says it contains?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9
    To calculate your pool volume, you need to use the depth of the WATER, not the height of the wall. You usually lose about 6" (you can measure to verify) so your pool is 20x30x3.5.
    According to Jason's calculator, you have 13,500 gallons.

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Jason -
    Shock Xtra Blue®
    Kills Bacteria
    Controls Algae
    Quickly Clears Cloudy Water
    Swim in as soon as 15 minutes!*
    http://www.aquachem.com/products/shockt ... _blue.html


    saraiks - I will check in the am - thank you


    Grace - Thank you
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Does it not have the ingredients on the back, Lauriedelk? That's what we need to know.

    Ahhh, never mind, I found it at of all sites the State of Washington, Agricultural pest control site.
    http://www.kellysolutions.com/WA/showAI ... Pool+Shock

    The active ingredients of that product are:

    Copper (Copper, metallic) 0.26 %
    Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione 63.05 %
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    So the Shock Xtra Blue is dichlor and copper. Dichlor contains chlorine, stabilizer, and is acidic.

    In addition to adding chlorine, the ShockXtra Blue will have lowered the PH substantially, added quite a bit of stabilizer, brought the total alkalinity down quite a bit (perhaps even to zero), and added copper (which may cause problems later). I suspect that the test strip test for stabilizer isn't working because the PH is so low.

    Low PH is the most immediate problem. PH below 7.0 can cause damage to the vinyl liner. The test strips are probably good enough to use while adjusting the PH. I suggest you get some soda ash, also called PH Add, washing soda, PH Up, PH Increaser, Balance Pak 200, and PH Plus. That will raise both the PH and the total alkalinity. It is difficult to say how much you will need. Try adding one cup, allowing it to mix in for an hour with the pump running, and retest the PH with the test strips. Repeat as needed until the PH is above 7.0.

    Once the PH is more reasonable hopefully the stabilizer test will work. If the stabilizer level is as high as I suspect it is you will need to replace a substantial amount of water.

    I suggest you have on hand a couple of gallons of bleach (common household bleach without any scent, sometimes called original scent, look for 6% strength often called ultra) and a couple of pounds of either baking soda (from the grocery store) or alkalinity increaser (same thing from the pool store for more money). Bleach adds chlorine to the pool without adding stabilizer or lowering the PH.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Thank you Jason -
    "I suggest you get some soda ash, also called PH Add, washing soda, PH Up, PH Increaser, Balance Pak 200, and PH Plus. "

    I had a TINY bit of PH plus left I put in today, can I get some ph plus type stuff at walmart - that is cheaper - (like the bleach and stuff you guys said?)

    buggs - sorry - no I used up what I had - so I did not have any more pkgs - thanks

    saraiks - no, when I turned my pump off that dial did not change on the sand filter - so I guess it is broke?

    pool place was closed again today - I guess due to the holiday - so I will be going 1st thing in the am

    Thanks everyone!
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  14. Back To Top    #14
    saraiks's Avatar
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    You guessed it right.. The gauge is broken. The pressure gauge is a good indicator of how clogged your filter is. But don't worry too much over it as you don't need to replace it for now.

    Get your water analysed and post the results here.

    you can use pH Plus or anything that has Sodium Carbonate as the only ingredient. Just read the label!

    Make a note of what you add to your pool and how much of it you add..

    This will give all of us an idea of how the water is reacting to the chemicals and will help us understand your "problem".
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Well, I went to the one main pool place- and they just used a STRIP, and she told me I needed to put in TONS of chlorine and PH plus.

    So....I went to the other pool place in town (tiny, but expensive) they charge $15.00 for a pool test unless you are buying $30 in product. lol

    She said I have copper in my pool, which will eat up chlorine, (she said probably because of all the algaecide I put in months ago, and the shock it blue, which is for algae as well)

    Anyway - her report says:

    INFO - CURRRENT - IDEAL
    Saturation IDX -3.6 -.3
    TDS not tested <2500
    CYA 40 30-200
    TOT Chlorine .2 1-3
    Free Chlorine .2 1-3
    PH 6.2 7.4-7.6
    Total Alkalinity 10
    Adj, Total Alk 0 125-150
    Total Hardness 102 175-255
    Optimizer not tested 30-50
    Copper 2 0
    Iron 0 0
    Manganese no no
    cloudy none
    staining none
    quat not tested 4-6
    green algae none
    black algae none
    mustard algae none
    slime mold none

    Their recommendations:
    Your saturation index is low. This indicates that your total alkalinity, ph and/or total hardness is out of balance. Low saturation index can cause corrosion of equipment, surface damage, adn eye and skin irritation. To properly balance the water follow the instructions:

    ADD 2.25 qts POOL MAGENT PLUS ($21.99/qt)
    Your water contains copper and /or iron which can cause water discoloration and surface staining. Add Pool magnet plus when the chlorine residual is 1.0 or lower. Do not shock for 7 days including any recommendations ono this printout. Wait 15 min then go to next step. Do not swim for 15 min.

    USE SPARKLE UP $27.99
    Add sparkle up - it helps the filer remove chelated metal from the water. backwash from filter 24 hours after applying. may swim immediately.

    CLEAN METALS FROM FILTER WITH KLEEN IT $15.99
    Use this after sparkle to remove any metals from the filter and prevent from returning to pool

    TOTAL ALKALINITY
    Add 25.5 lbs of balance pak 100 ($21.99/12lbs)
    Your total alkalinity is extremely low. Add product for metals as recommended above and circulate for 48 hours. Then divide balance pak into 3 doses, predissolve 6 hours apart. This will help prevent staining and water discoloration from the metals. After the last application circulate 6-8 hours and have another pool sample tested. Do not apply any other product for other problems until the metals and low total alkalinity have been adjusted properly and the water has been retested. Do not swim until final balancing adjustments are made.


    OK - everyone - I am going to do what YOU GUYS tell me - I cannot afford all that - for MAYBE a few weeks left to swim! lol
    Thank you to everyone!
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  16. Back To Top    #16
    saraiks's Avatar
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    The numbers are not that bad as they seem.. or what the pool store would tell you..
    you have good CYA
    pH is easily controlled. Copper might be an issue but will actually help you in the short run as it is an algaecide.

    Follow Jason's reccomendation as below...
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The most critical issue is the PH being low. That is damaging the liner. You want to get the PH up to between 7.0 and 7.2 right away. That is going to take between three and five cups of PH Plus. Start with three cups, allow it to circulate for an hour or two, measure the PH with your test strips and if it is still below 7.0 and another cup, wait retest and proceed one cup at a time until the PH is 7.0 or higher.

    If the PH comes up too much the copper will start staining if you don't so something about it. If that copper measurement is right you will need a double dose of a metal sequesterant, like Pool Magnet Plus though there are significantly less expensive brands, to prevent staining.

    You will also need to raise the total alkalinity, though wait till the PH is a little higher before working on that. You can use regular grocery store baking soda, which will be far less expensive than what they are proposing. I would recommend adding two or three pounds at a time and allowing it to mix for several hours before adding more. Nine or ten pounds ought to do it, though it is best to test as you go, aiming for a TA level of 70. Again, don't do this till after the PH is under control.

    The low saturation index is not a problem in a vinyl pool.

    The really good news is that your CYA is much lower than I feared. CYA of 40 is just fine.

    With a CYA of 40 you want to keep FC above 3 at all times. Six quarts of 6% bleach should get your FC up to six or seven, and then something on the order of three quarts a day, preferably in the evening, should maintain the chlorine level.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18
    I read that I can put the BOrax in to raise ph - is that true? and if so, how much should I use - do you think?

    thanks!


    nevermind - I figured it out on your pool calculator
    I had a 76 oz box and it said I needed to put in 137-143 oz,
    so I put what I had in, and I will get more when I go into town tonight

    thanks much
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can use borax. PH Plus is a little better since it will increase both the PH and TA, both of which you need. If you use borax you will need to use more baking soda and adding the baking soda will be more important. Though the borax plus the baking soda might still be cheaper than the PH Plus.

    I calculate you will need somewhere around 3/4 of a box of borax (a box holds 76 oz).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  20. Back To Top    #20
    oh - wow - from the pool calculator I used- (I thought I did it right - but maybe not! lol)

    I just put in the whole box. it said I needed to put in 137-143 oz,

    I don't have any soda, so I will grab that tonight when I go to town as well.


    when I went out to the pool today, same thing - water looked PERFECT, just that misty film on the bottom, (which if my vacuum was working right - would have probably got it up - but instead I have to use my scooper with the pole and net.)
    any ideas on how to fix this - easily would be great too - do you think I just need to buy a new sand filter and pump (which I probably would not do until opening next year I guess, as I don't have a garage to store it in either - we just usually put a tarp over it for the winter).
    Laurie Delk
    (931) 380-8811
    http://LaurieDelk.net - See About Me!

    15x30 - 4ft oval pool, above ground, 12000 gallons, sand filter,

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